8/8/16 US Ladies Win + Advance Tues vs Col 6 pm NBCSN, Brazil must win Wed 9 pm, Indy 11 win moves to NASL Top, EPL kicks off Sat., EUFA Supercup Real Madrid vs Sevilla Tues 2:45 pm, TV games

The US Ladies and midfielder Carli Lloyd did it again as she Tobin Heath and the US Ladies as they squeezed past France 1-0 in their second group G stage game and secured advancement to the next round.  GK Hope Solo however was really the story of the day as she faced a barrage of boos, Zica Calls, and of shots especially in the 1st half as she made more than 3 incredible saves in the game – securing the US advancement.  Look for the US to get some new players on the field in their 3rd and final group stage match Tuesday night at 6 pm on NBCSN vs Columbia, including probably the coming off injury Midfielder Megan Rapino, as they have already secured 1st place in the group.  (See complete stories and Group Standings below). Quarterfinals start with US Friday at Noon on NBCSN.   Hard to believe how bad the Brazilian men are playing with 2 0-0 ties in their first 2 games against not very good teams.  Its do or die vs Denmark on Wed night 9 pm for Brazil on NBCSN before the Quarters this Sat.

The Indy 11 continue to find ways to win games late this time a Don Smart goal in the 93rd minute at home at the Jake on Saturday night as over 7K looked on.  The exciting 1-0 win over Ottowa swings the Eleven back to first overall in the NASL Standings.  This Sat night the 11 host OKC at the Mike at 7:30 pm and TV8 – come on out for $11 tickets and Indy’s top team!!

The EPL got off to a roaring start with a great match between Man U and last season’s miracle winners Leciester City in the Community Shield Match Sun at Wembley.  I thought both teams showed positives in what was a very even match.  Leciester showed they probably aren’t going to be a 1 season wonder and Man U – showed they need a little more (see Pogba) but that they are going to make a legit run for the top 4.  Can’t wait for the season to kick of this weekend with 6 or 7 legit contenders – Leceister City, Tottenham, Aresenal, Man City, Man U, Liverpool, Chelsea – new coaches in Conte, Mournho, Pep, Klopp – and all the new signings – this squares up to be one of the most competitive EPL season in years.  Games start Sat with Leciester traveling to Hull City at 7:30 am on CNBC and Man City hosting Sunderland at 12:30 on CNBC.  Sunday has Arsenal vs Liverpool at 11 am on NBCSN and the German supercup Bayern vs Dortmund at 2:30 pm on Fox Sports 1.

GAMES of the Week TV

See the Complete TV Schedule online www.theoleballcoach.com

Tues Aug 9 Olympic Soccer – Women 

2:45 pm Fox Sports 1             Real Madrid vs Sevilla UEFA Supercup 

3 pm NBC Sports Live Extra        Germany vs Canada

6 pm NBCSN                         Colombia vs USA Women

9 pm NBC Sports Extra                   China vs Sweden

Wed Aug 10 Olympic Soccer – Men 

12 pm Telemundo                            Argentina vs Honduras

9 pm NBCSN                                          Denmark vs Brazil

Fri, Aug 12                                              

Quarterfinals Olympic Women

12 pm NBCSN             1G vs  3E   USA vs ???

3 pm  MSNBC                                         2F vs 2F

6 pm CNBC                                              1F vs 2G

9 pm NBCSN                                           1 E vs 3F    Brazil vs?                                                  

Sat, Aug 13                                              EPL Season Starts

7:30 a.m., CNBC:                                 Hull City vs. Leicester City 
10:00 a.m., NBCSN                            Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough vs. Stoke City, Southampton vs. Watford
12:30 p.m., CNBC:                             Manchester City vs. Sunderland

Quarterfinals Olympic men         12, 3, 6, 9

Sun, Aug 14

8:30 a.m., NBCSN:                              Bournemouth vs. Manchester United
11:00 a.m., NBCSN:
                           Arsenal vs. Liverpool

2:30 pm Fox Sport1                          Dortmund vs Bayern Munich –German Super Cup

See the Complete TV Schedule online www.theoleballcoach.com


US Ladies squeeze by France 1-0

Fans chant “Zika” at Hope Solo again, but Solo gets last word in shutout

US Lloyd Strikes Again – Solo taunted as US beats France

US Seizes Control of Group G with 1-0 win over France

US and Brazil advance with victories

Tobinya –is Tobin Heath really Brazilian?

Tobin Heath a Gif machine

Tobin on YouTube      Again some Tobinya

Ladies Group Tables

Men’s Wrap-up

Group Tables – MEN

Nigeria writes Olympic Tale to Remember – SI – Grant Wahl

US probably will play Friday at 12 noon – on NBCSN.


3 things Indy 11 win over Ott

Indy 11 win 1-0

Indy 11  back on top of NASL with last second winner – full Recap of weekend

NASL Full Standings


Premier League Previews – ESPN FC  (see more EPL previews in last week’s write-up)

Trending World

Ibra Helps Man U earn Community Shield late

Community Shield no predictor of League Success- Gab Marcotti ESPNF

Pogba Arrives to Man U Finally

Man U needs Pogba – Ian Macintosh

Leciester Impress despite close loss

Pep faces biggest Challenge at Man City

Man city not Ready under Pep

Juve will be Fine without Pogba

UEFA Snubs Messi and Suarez for Player of Year Award


Dempsey turns hat trick in win at Orlando

Best of the Week MLS Week 22

Week 22 Hi Lights


Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com

Tues Aug 9 Olympic Soccer – Women 

2:45 pm Fox Sports 1                      Real Madrid vs Sevilla UEFA Supercup

3 pm NBC Sports Live Extra        Germany vs Canada

3 pm NBC Sports Live Extra         Australia vs Zimbabwe

6 pm NBCSN                         Colombia vs USA

6 pm                                                            New Zealand vs France

9 pm NBC Sports Extra                   South Africa vs Brazil

9 pm NBC Sports Extra                   China vs Sweden

Wed Aug 10 Olympic Soccer – Men 

12 pm NBC Sports Extra                 Algeria vs Portugal

12 pm Telemundo                            Argentina vs Honduras

3 pm NBC Sports Extra                    Germany vs Fiji

3 pm NBC Sports Extra                    Korea Republic vs Mexico

6 pm NBC Sports Extra                    Japan vs Sweden

6 pm NBC Sports Extra                    Colombia vs Nigeria

9 pm NBCSN                                          Denmark vs Brazil

9 pm NBC Sports Extra                    South Africa vs Iraq

Fri, Aug 12                                               France Legue 1 starts

2 pm beIn Sports                                Bastia vs PSG

Quarterfinals Olympic Women

12 pm NBCSN                                        1G vs  3E  USA?? 

3 pm  MSNBC                                         2F vs 2F

6 pm CNBC                                              1F vs 2G

9 pm NBCSN                                           1 E vs 3F

Sat, Aug 13                                              EPL Season Starts

7:30 a.m., CNBC:                                 Hull City vs. Leicester City 
10:00 a.m., NBCSN                            Everton vs. Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough vs. Stoke City, Southampton vs. Watford
12:30 p.m., CNBC:                             Manchester City vs. Sunderland

Quarterfinals Olympic men        12, 3, 6, 9

7:30 pm Tv8+ESPN3           Indy 11 vs OKC

Sun, Aug 14

8:30 a.m., NBCSN:                              Bournemouth vs. Manchester United
11:00 a.m., NBCSN:
                           Arsenal vs. Liverpool

2:30 pm Fox Sport1                          Dortmund vs Bayern Munich –German Super Cup

7 pm  Fox Sport 1                              Seattle Sounders hosts Real Salt Lake

Tues, Aug 16 

12 pm NBCSN                                        Semi-Finals Women (final 4)

3 pm NBCSN                                           Semi-Finals Women (final 4)

Weds, Aug 17 

12 pm NBCSN                                        Semi-Finals Man (final 4)

3 pm NBCSN                                           Semi-Finals men (final 4)

Fri, Aug 19                                               

12 noon MSNBC                                   Women’s Olympics 3rd place game

2:30 pm USA Net                                Man United vs Southhampton

4:30 pm NBCSN                                    Women’s Olympics Gold Medal Game

Sat, Aug 20                                            

7:30 a.m., NBCSN                                Stoke City vs. Man City 
10:00 a.m., NBC Live Extra           Tottenham vs Crystal Palace, Burnley vs Liverpool, Chelsea vs. Watford
12 noon NBCSN                                    men’s Olympics 3rd place game

12:30 p.m., CNBC:                             Leciester City vs Arsenal

4:30 pm NBCSN                                    Men’s Olympics Gold Medal Game

7:30 pm ESPN3                    Indy 11 @ Carolina

Sun, Aug 21

8:30 a.m., NBCSN:                              Sunderland vs Middlesborough
11:00 a.m., CNBC
                               West Ham vs Bournemouth

2:30 pm Fox Sport1                          Dortmund vs Bayern Munich –German Super Cup

9:30 pm  Fox Sport 1                       Seattle Sounders host Portland – CASCADIA CUP 2!

Fri, Aug 26                                              German Bundesliga Starts

2:30 pm Fox Sport1                          Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen

Sat, Aug 27

7:30 AM NBCSN                                   Tottenham vs Liverpool

9:30 a.m., Fox Sports 2:                 Borussia Dortmund vs. Mainz
9:30 a.m., Fox Soccer Plus:         Hamburg SV vs. Ingolstadt

12:30 pm  NBC                                     Hull City vs Man United
12:30 p.m., Fox                                   Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Bayer Leverkusen

Sun, Aug 28

9:30 a.m Fox Sport1                         Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg

11 am NBCSN                                        Man City vs West Ham

2 pm ???                                                   Ottawa vs Indy 11

7 pm  Fox Sport 1                               Orlando City vs NYCFC

Soccer Olympics Schedule

MLS TV Schedule ‘

EPL TV Schedule on NBC + NBCSN

German Bundesliga TV Schedule on Fox Soccer and Gol TV

Lloyd strikes again, Solo taunted again as U.S. advances to knockout round

joelagoyahoo Sat, Aug 6 3:20 PM PDT

RIO DE JANEIRO — Hope Solo keeps getting taunted by loud choruses of “Zika!” by grudge-holding Brazilians, Carli Lloyd can’t stop scoring and the United States Women’s National Team keeps winning soccer games.That familiar tale pretty much told the story of the top-ranked Americans’ 1-0 victory over No. 3 France in Saturday’s showdown at the Rio Olympics.The U.S. needed Lloyd’s 63rd-minute winner and Solo’s clutch goalkeeping for her 102nd career shutout to take over the top spot of Group G and lock up a spot in the knockout stage of the 12-team tournament by virtue of New Zealand’s 1-0 triumph over Colombia. The world champion Americans are now 16-0-1 on the year.Solo, making her 200th appearance in the U.S. national team shirt., was berated again and again by fans at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, for tweeting pictures of her bug repellent arsenal to remain Zika-free. But the 35-year-old star goalie did not let the Zika chants get to her, recording six saves including some big stops late as the French pushed for the tying goal.The U.S. plays Colombia in its final group game on Tuesday in Manaus, the same Amazonian city where the American men faced Portugal in a 2-2 draw during the 2014 World Cup group stage. American coach Jill Ellis will have the luxury of resting some players with her team facing its third game in nine days.Lloyd, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner as the best player in the women’s game, deservedly continues to get plenty of credit for the U.S.’s success. She scored again for her 11th goal of the season after getting the opener in a 2-0 win over New Zealand on Wednesday. But Lloyd has Tobin Heath to thank for the match winner.Heath blasted a shot at goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, who pushed the ball away but had it ricochet off the near post and right to Lloyd for the 1-0 USA lead.The U.S. boasted 52 percent of the possession at halftime, but the shots tally was a better indication of how the first half went. The French outshot the Americans 8-1, putting three on goal to the U.S.’s zero. Solo had three saves, the most important coming in the 41st minute.Marie-Laure Delie had Solo one-on-one after being played into the right side of the penalty area. However, Solo stopped the point-blank attempt by Delie to keep the game scoreless.olo was also lucky. In the 73rd minute, a ball into the box just missed defender Wendie Renard for a flick header and bounded dangerously past the far post. Then in the 78th, Delie had space to unleash a right-footed blast that Solo had trouble corralling. But no French player was close enough to pounce on the rebound.

Like many things, chants get better with practice. Especially coordinated chants. And, apparently, especially Brazilian chants taunting U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo.Brazilian fans booed Solo and hurled “Zika!” chants at her during the Americans’ opener against New Zealand. Those chants were amplified, more in tune and more consistent in the U.S. Women’s National Team’s second group game against France, a 1-0 win.  Solo, who was making her 200th appearance for the U.S., had the last laugh though. She made multiple crucial saves in the U.S.’s 1-0 victory over France. The best came right before halftime, with the game at 0-0 and the French putting real pressure on the U.S.  Even as she repelled shot after shot on Saturday, the chants continued, and were more noticeable than they were Wednesday. Every time Solo had time with the ball, or set up to take a goal kick, the fans began a crescendoing chorus of whistles and roars. And then at the exact moment Solo sent the ball upfield… “ZIIIIKAAAA!”The “Zika” chants take after a global soccer tradition of fans yelling insults at goalkeepers as they prepare to take goal kicks. Many Mexican fans, and other fans of Central and South American teams, infamously yell a gay slur, despite repeated calls for them to stop.These “Zika” chants seem a little more lighthearted. Solo is taking them in the right way too. ”I’m glad the fans had fun,” Solo said Thursday. ”And if they had fun at my expense, more power to them.”

Tobin Heath, USA’s GIF machine, is winning fans in soccer-mad Brazil

She hasn’t scored for USA yet, but Tobin Heath is gaining fans with her Olympic play reminiscent of Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho.

GRANT WAHLSunday August 7th, 2016

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil — She is the most GIF-able player in U.S. women’s soccer history, and now her beloved second country, Brazil, is catching on. A revealing thing happened on Saturday as midfielder Tobin Heath did “Tobin Heath Things” during the second half of the U.S.’s 1–0 win over France.  According to GoogleTrends, searches in Brazil for “Tobin Heath” spiked to 10 times their previous level after Heath put on a show starting in the 63rd minute.Not only did Heath break through to fire the shot that bounced off the post and led to Carli Lloyd’s game-winning goal, but the player whose teammates call her “Tobinha” also brought a little samba to the Estádio Mineirão turf in the final minutes of the victory.Deep in the corner and with two defenders advancing on her, Heath turned on the GIF machine, moving one way before flicking the ball behind her in the opposite direction and then dinking the ball back in the original direction over the defenders to teammate Meghan Klingenberg. It was a classic game of Brazilian keep-away, and it ran some time off the clock, too.

The Brazilian crowd roared in delight. And as Brazilians at home typed into their search engines, the local journalists here were smitten. In the press conference afterward, a reporter from Globo Esportes said to U.S. coach Jill Ellis: “I want you to talk a little about Tobin Heath. Her way of play, it’s very similar to Brazilian players.”Ellis smiled. “I think Tobin has a desire to be a Brazilian,” she said. “I think she’s always loved this country, been infatuated with it. I remember as a young player she came down here, and I always remember her wearing Brazilian flip-flops when she was a youth player. She loves the ball, and she’s very talented on it as you saw tonight.”There was something appropriate about Heath’s exploits taking place at the Mineirão. Her favorite Brazilian player of all time, Ronaldinho, led Atlético Mineiro to its greatest moment in club history on this field on a night like this one almost exactly three years ago. Ronaldinho won the Copa Libertadores that night with his team, and Heath flashed a grin when told about it by a Brazilian journalist.“I was always inspired by Brazilian football growing up,” Heath said. “Those huge Nike campaigns, the Jogo Bonito campaigns that had Ronaldinho, that’s the beauty of the game that I love.”Growing up in Basking Ridge, N.J., Heath would always be noodling by herself on moves with the ball, in the same way that a promising guitarist would work on perfecting guitar licks. One of them was Ronaldinho’s famous elástico, which Heath turned into her own GIF on an assist against Mexico last year.“Ronaldinho is the best,” Heath said when asked by the Brazilian media on Saturday. “I just like the joy and the love he has when he plays, it just shines for everyone else to see. He always does something nobody expects him to do. I think that’s really cool, that creativity you don’t find anywhere else. I think he inspired not just me but your country as well and the style that you guys want to play. That’s why he’s my favorite.”There were plenty of reasons the U.S. turned things around in the second half on Saturday and overcame a French team that had dominated the first half. Goalkeeper Hope Solo made the most of her 200th cap and stonewalled Marie-Laure Delie when Delie was in alone on Solo late in the first half. Lloyd knew exactly where to be to score her second goal in as many games in this tournament. And Whitney Engen, who learned a few hours before gametime that she’d be making her first start in a major tournament, filled in admirably for the injured Julie Johnston.But Heath is the U.S. player who’s breaking out more than any other in these Olympics. She was terrific in the opener too, a 2–0 win over New Zealand, providing the assist on Lloyd’s goal in that game. To hear Heath say it, she feels extremely comfortable with the changes that have been made to the U.S. attack in the past year.“I’m enjoying playing with the team in the style that we’re playing,” said Heath, 28. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been given more responsibility. I think I’ve grown into that. Also I like the players I’m playing around. We’ve got a good connection and understanding. The philosophy of this team has changed a little bit too in the style of play that we’re trying to do. So now I think it suits me.”Now what would be really cool is if Heath got to meet up with Ronaldinho at some point during the Olympics. Who knows? He might have been one of all those Brazilians Googling her on Saturday night.

Lloyd, Marta lead USA, Brazil into last eight in Rio

Kieran Canning,AFP Sat, Aug 6 9:42 PM PDT United States kept their quest for fourth straight women’s football gold firmly on track when captain Carli Lloyd ensured a 1-0 victory over France to qualify for the quarter-finals.Brazil are also into the last eight as, inspired by a near 60,000 capacity crowd at the Rio Olympic Stadium and two goals from five-time world player of the year Marta, they thrashed Sweden 5-1.The United States are now unbeaten in 13 Olympic matches and, a year on from scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final, Lloyd has once again been the United States’ inspiration in Brazil.After netting the US opener in a 2-0 win against New Zealand on Wednesday, she slotted home the only goal in Belo Horizonte after Tobin Heath’s initial effort came back off the post.The US team are assured of their place in the knockout rounds as at least one of the two best third-placed sides, but can secure top spot in Group H with just a point against Colombia on Tuesday.France had impressed in thrashing Colombia 4-0 in their opening game and had the better of the first 45 minutes.However, American keeper Hope Solo made a huge save to deny Marie Laure Delie on her 200th international appearance.The world champions improved after the break and were rewarded when Lloyd was characteristically in the right place at the right time to score her 90th international goal.New Zealand beat Colombia 1-0 in the other game in the Group to move level with France on three points.In contrast to their male counterparts, who stumbled 0-0 against South Africa under the pressure to deliver Brazil’s first Olympic football gold, the hosts’ women have been the most impressive side in the tournament.”Initially the pressure was all about performing well and promoting women’s football,” said Brazil coach Vadao.”Now we have played so well the pressure changes because people’s expectations rise, so we will face a different pressure now.”Fresh from brushing off China 3-0 in their opener, Brazil tore Sweden apart to go in 3-0 up at the break.Beatriz nipped in ahead of Sweden ‘keeper Hadvig Lindahl for the opener, before Cristiane extended her record as all-time top scorer in the Olympics with her 14th goal in her fourth Games.Marta played against the country where she has played club football for the past four years, just 24 hours after carrying the Olympic flag into the Maracana during the opening ceremony.However, she looked far from jaded as she converted Brazil’s third from the penalty spot before doubling her tally with a fantastic finish 10 minutes from time.Beatriz curled home her second six minutes later before Lotta Schelin netted a consolation goal for Sweden.  Tan Ruyin scored with a sensational dipping drive from over 40 yards out as China moved into second in Group E with a 2-0 win over South Africa.  Canada are also through to the knockout stages after sealing their second win in as many games against tournament debutants Zimbabwe 3-1 in Sao Paulo.Janine Beckie scored twice, whilst veteran striker Christine Sinclair scored her 163rd international goal from the penalty spot.Two-time world champions Germany came back from 2-0 down against Australia to move into second in Group F.The Matildas looked set to bounce back from their opening 2-0 defeat to Canada thanks to first-half goals from Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord.However, Sara Daebritz pulled a goal back immediately and Saskia Bartusiak snatched a point two minutes from time.



BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (Aug. 6, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team took control of Group G with a 1-0 defeat of France thanks to Carli Lloyd’s 63rd minute game-winning goal and another strong defensive performance at Mineirão Stadium in its second match of the 2016 Olympic Games. In a battle between the two favorites to advance from Group G, the USA edged France on Lloyd’s opportunistic goal that was a product of a nice bit of offensive play from the U.S. that culminated in Tobin Heath’s shot being saved and then rebounding off the left post into Lloyd’s path and the FIFA World Player of the Year made no mistake in putting the chance away to give the USA an important three points.  Defensively, the USA was solid again as Whitney Engen made her Olympic debut in place of the injured Julie Johnston who was held out to protect a sore groin. Engen and the defense kept France from creating much from the run of play, but when Les Bleues did break through, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo, who earned her 200th cap today, was on hand to make a range of crucial saves throughout the match. The USA now leads Group G (2-0-0; 6pts) with France (1-1-0; 3pts) in second place, although, New Zealand (0-1-0; 0pts) and Colombia (0-1-0; 0pts) play later tonight. The USA could qualify for the tournament Quarterfinals depending on the result of the day’s later game between New Zealand and Colombia. A New Zealand win or draw between the Football Ferns and Colombia would send the U.S. through to the next round. The U.S. will finish group play vs. Colombia on Tuesday at Amazônia Arena in Manaus (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).

Goal Scoring Rundown: 
USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath), 63rd minute: 
Kelley O’Hara sent a long ball into the heart of the France defense that fell to the feet of Morgan Brian at the top of the penalty area. As defenders closed in, Brian passed to Heath who was making a run into the left side of the box. Heath’s initial left-footed shot from eight yards out was pushed onto the post by France goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi, but the ball rebounded off the left post across the front of the unprotected goal, setting up perfectly for U.S. captain Carli Lloyd to tap the ball across the line for the game-winner. USA 1, FRA 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops: 
USA – Hope Solo, 16th minute: 
France won a free kick on the right wing 35 yards from goal that Louisa Cadamuro swung into the penalty area for France captain Wendie Renard to head a powerful shot on goal. The ball looked to be headed just beneath the woodwork until Solo tipped the shot onto the crossbar with a strong left handed save.

FRA – Sarah Bouhaddi, 30th minute: Carli Lloyd won the USA a free kick in excellent attacking position just outside the center of the France penalty area. Heath stepped up and curled the free kick over the France wall and toward the center of goal, but Bouhaddi made a leaping save to tip the shot over the bar and deny Heath.

USA – Hope Solo, 40th minute: Amedine Henry won the ball near the center stripe and charged into the USA’s defensive third, drawing defenders before playing a through ball to Marie Laure Delie, who held off her defender and snapped a shot on goal. However, Solo had read the play and charged out to cut down the angle and smother the shot from close range.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT finishes Group G play at the 2016 Olympic Games against Colombia at Amazônia Arena in Manaus on Aug. 9 (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBC Universo).

Additional Notes:

  • The USA improves to 16-0-1 in 2016. The team has scored 55 goals and tallied 15 shutouts while allowing just four goals.
  • The WNT is 17-1-2 all-time against France, outscoring Les Bleues 52-14 in 20 matches.
  • This is the second consecutive Olympics in which the U.S. and France have met with the USA winning the only previous Olympic meeting between the two nations 4-2 at London 2012.
  • Carli Lloyd’s goal was the 90th of her career and eighth Olympic goal for the USA, pushing her to second all-time behind Abby Wambach’s 10 Olympic tallies.
  • Lloyd has now hit double-figures in goals scored in 2016 (10 goals); it is the fourth calendar year – and third in a row – that she’s recorded 10 or more goals (2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016)
  • Hope Solo continued to earn accolades, making her 200th career international appearance for the USA. She is the only goalkeeper to ever reach that appearance mark in international play.
  • The game marks the first Olympic start for Crystal Dunn and Whitney Engen as well as their first at a senior level world championship tournament.
  • The defense of Solo, Kelley O’Hara, Becky Sauerbrunn, Engen and Meghan Klingenberg started together for the first time in 2016.
  • The USA has now kept a clean sheet in its first two Olympic matches for the third time in team history. It also did so at the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Lloyd earned her 226th cap and 14th in the Olympics, tied with Solo for the most Olympic appearances on the team. She is the most-capped player at the 2016 Olympic Football tournament.
  • Malory Pugh and Julie Johnston were held out of the match due to injury concerns; Pugh sustained a knock to her ankle in the USA’s match vs. Australia, while Johnston’s exclusion was precautionary due to groin soreness.

– U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report –

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. France
Date: Aug. 6, 2016
Competition: 2016 Olympic Games; Group G
Venue: Mineirao; Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET (5 p.m. local)
Attendance: 11,782
Weather: 85 degrees, clear

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA                        0 1 1
FRA                        0 0 0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Tobin Heath) 63rd minute

USA: 1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 6-Whitney Engen, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn, 7-Meghan Klingenberg (12-Christen Press, 90); 3-Allie Long, 14-Morgan Brian, 10-Carli Lloyd (capt.) (9-Lindsey Horan, 82); 16-Crystal Dunn (11-Ali Krieger, 70), 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs not used: 2-Mallory Pugh, 8-Julie Johnston, 15-Megan Rapinoe, 18-Alyssa Naeher
Head Coach: Jill Ellis

FRA: 16-Sarah Bouhaddi; 8-Jessica Houara, 3-Wendie Renard (capt.), 2-Griedge Mbock Bathy, 7-Amel Majri; 10-Camille Abily (17-Kheira Hamraoui, 83), 6-Amandine Henry, 15-Elise Bussaglia; 13-Kadidiatou Diani, 18-Marie-Laure Delie (11-Claire Lavogez, 86), 14-Louisa Cadamuro (12-Elodie Thomis, 70)
Subs not used: 1-Meline Gerard, 4-Sakina Karchaoui, 5-Sabrina Delannoy, 9-Eugenie Le Sommer
Head Coach: Philippe Bergeroo

Stats Summary: USA / FRA
Shots: 7 / 14
Shots on Goal: 3 / 5
Saves: 5 / 2
Corner Kicks: 3 / 8
Fouls: 8 / 18
Offside: 4 / 4

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Crystal Dunn (caution) 68th minute
FRA – Griedge Mbock Bathy (caution) 82

Referee: Claudia Umpierrez (URU)
Assistant Referee 1: Loreta Toloza(CHI)
Assistant Referee 2: Neuza Back (BRA)
Fourth Official: Maria Carvajal (CHI)

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long   (SERIOUSLY – IT HAS TO BE HOPE SOLO!!)


‘Tobin Heath is secretly Brazilian.’ That’s what a hand-made poster, held high outside the team hotel in Belo Horizonte said.  Amusing, yes, but if “being Brazilian” in the soccer world is generally defined as being remarkable with the ball at your feet, then perhaps the meaning was right on, if not the nationality.Heath is a huge fan of Brazilian soccer so it’s not so surprising that the way she plays the game and her relationship with the ball have often been compared to that of Brazilian legend Ronaldinho, whose incredible abilities have made him both a crowd-pleaser and a dangerous attacking weapon on the field.“Brazil is one of my favorite countries and a huge inspiration to me being a football player,” Heath said. “I drew so much from learning about the game from this country and from the players of this country. For me, this is a special place and I feel really lucky to have the Games here because Brazil is all about this sport. For us, it’s the Olympic Games but for soccer it’s huge to be in this country playing on this stage.”Heath has long dazzled fans with her incisive passing and dynamic dribbling, which at times has included a nutmeg or two (in fact, her second touch as a member of the full WNT was a nutmeg), and she creates excitement on whichever flank she happens to be patrolling. Rare is the player who is equally effective from both wings, but the left-footed Heath is one of them. She has caused many a nightmare for opposing defenders with her combination of speed, fitness, soccer savvy and sublime skill.With the Olympic tournaments being held in six cities across Brazil, a country that breathes and lives the game, Heath is in her element.“Obviously Ronaldinho was a huge icon during the time that I was growing up and Nike Football had promoted him in the Jogo Bonitostories and I loved watching all of his videos,” Heath said. “I would go on YouTube and I would watch everything about him. You just could see his passion for football was huge because he always played with a smile on his face and did the craziest things on the field. Every time he got the ball you’d never know what he would do because he was so unpredictable. The way he played football was so cool and made me say, ‘that’s the way I want to play football.’ For me he was a huge inspiration and even today I follow him and think he’s the best ever.”In the 2-0 win against New Zealand to open Olympic play on Aug. 3, Heath was a commanding presence in the midfield. In classic Heath fashion, she assisted on the USA’s first goal of the night, freezing several defenders with a nifty bit of skill before serving a perfect cross to Carli Lloyd for a head goal. It was Heath’s fifth assist of the year and her 120th appearance for the USA.At only 28 years old, Heath is playing in her third Olympic Games and fifth major senior level world championship. Since making her debut with the National Team in 2008, her role and impact on the U.S. team has only increased. She has matured on and off the field as her creativity has become increasingly magnified and important and her game-clinching goal in the 2015 Women’s World Cup Final will go down as one of the most memorable in U.S. history.In 2008, Heath was the youngest player on the 2008 Olympics gold medal team, seeing action in three games off the bench. Eight years later, her dribbling and jaw-dropping moves continue to captivate viewers and lovers of the beautiful game, while her calming and veteran presence on the pitch is something head coach Jill Ellis values.“Her individual play to break players down, her ability to combine with others, she just gives us such an attacking weapon,” said Ellis. “Her work rate is exceptional and I don’t think she gets enough credit for that. She’s a box-to-box wide player. She’s a threat with her passing game and individually. With Tobin, we get a player that’s been there before and can calm us down in the storm.”Heath’s abilities have certainly earned her many fans in the USA and around the world, and even in the workrooms of EA Sports. Just last year, Heath became one of two women, Brazil’s Marta being the other, to receive five-star skill moves in the popular videogame FIFA 16, a trait that allows access to all skills moves available in the game. She was the only American player, man or woman, to earn that recognition.Among some of the notable men that are five-star skillers? Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and Brazil’s Neymar and Pelé, who was born in the city of Três Corações in the state of Minas Gerais – about 180 miles from Belo Horizonte, home of the WNT’s first two Olympics group games.A deep love for the game and a sincere appreciation for the Brazilian style of soccer make this trip a dream come true for Heath.“Each Olympics is different for me,” Heath said. “But being here in Brazil, I think it’s very special to play as a football player, and it’s really cool to be somewhere that has inspired me so much as a kid. Not much compares to this experience.”


Analysis of Indy’s late 1-0 win over Fury FCAug 8, 2016

AddThis Sharing Buttons

After every Indy Eleven game, IndyEleven.com’s Scott Stewart will give his three takeaways from the performance of the “Boys in Blue.” This week’s edition comes after Indiana’s Team beat Ottawa Fury FC 1-0 thanks to a late Don Smart goal.


Anyone who has seen the Eleven perform this season should know one thing above all – they have a knack for late goals, and they aren’t picky about them. They have scored late consolation goals, like in Miami in a 2-1 loss, and late equalizers, like against Puerto Rico FC at the start of the Fall Season and against Fury FC in the Spring Season home opener. But most importantly, they score late winners… A lot of late winners.A pair of late goals sealed victory over the New York Cosmos in the spring, and the same happened against against Rayo OKC in the same half of the season. Last Saturday night, again the “Boys in Blue” pulled out all the stops as Don Smart got a late touch on a ball floating in to the back post to secure a stoppage time winner in a thriller at Carroll Stadium.However, this time there was a feeling in the air, an inkling that the match may play out level as both teams struggled to create quality opportunities in front of goal. Different, too, from the atmosphere against New York in the spring for example, in the sense that belief may have left some of the home support. Fitting then that one of the Indy Eleven OG‘s Don Smart was the one to find the winner and keep the spirit of victory alive inside “The Mike,” where the Eleven’s home unbeaten streak is extended for another week.RECAP | Indy Eleven 1 : 0 Ottawa Fury FC

Souleymane Youla made his first league start under head coach Tim Hankinson and worked well alongside Eamon Zayed before being substituted in the 64th minute for winger-go-forward Omar Gordon. Though the striker only had 23 touches on the ball, he did not see as much of the ball as, say, Justin Braun likely would have in the same amount of minutes, but he did manage enough to warrant the selection. Completing 13/17 passes, Youla created two chances – both for Zayed – in his hour-plus start, and was clearly sharp enough to start over Jair Reinoso and his substitute Gordon in the eyes of Coach Hank. It’s unclear how long Youla will be in the starting line-up as Braun works his way back to 100% fitness, but at the very least the Guinean showed that he will make the most of the minutes he gets after netting one against Puerto Rico FC in the fall opener.TICKETS | Last chance to see Indiana’s Team in August

As noteworthy as the attack has been compared to years past, the defense deserves a solid shout as well after keeping their fourth clean sheet of the fall on Saturday.Blanking Minnesota United FC, Fort Lauderdale, and FC Edmonton – all at home – Carroll Stadium has become a fortress for a defense often led by Colin Falvey and Greg Janicki, though Saturday saw the latter replaced by Cory Miller due to suspension. Credit also goes to fullbacks Nemanja Vukovic, Marco Franco, and Lovel Palmer, all of whom have stepped in and bolstered both attack and defense since the last half of the year began on July 2.In goal, Jon Busch has made ten saves in those four clean sheets, bringing his fall tally up to 20 total while conceding just four goals in the seven matches played as ‘keeper Keith Cardona featured against Miami FC. Busch, who has become a leader amongst a number of solid offseason additions, continues to display his class and ability week-in and week-out and will be crucial going into the final three months of the year.


FC Edmonton and Miami FC earned important road wins in Week 6  Matthew Levine (@NASLInsider} | Aug 8, 2016

Indy Eleven remained as the Fall Season leader (on goal differential over FC Edmonton), using another late goal to record a 1-0 win. The Eddies also secured an important road victory, while Miami FC sent notice to the rest of the league with a huge win in Minnesota.

Here are the key storylines from Week 6:

Indy Continues Late Show: Indy Eleven (5W-1D-2L, 16 points) scored a goal in the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time for the 10th time in 2016 on Saturday night. The result was a 1-0 win over Ottawa Fury FC, snapping Ottawa’s three-game winning streak and keeping the Boys in Blue atop the Fall Season Standings. Don Smart used a one-touch finish to beat Ottawa (3-04, 9) goalkeeper Romuald Peiser after Dylan Mares whipped a cross towards the back post. It was Smart’s first goal of the year.

Rolling On The Road: Teams playing away from home had plenty of success in Week 6. FC Edmonton (5-1-1, 16) used a Tomi Ameobi header to hand Puerto Rico FC (1-3-4, 6) its first home loss and keep pace with Indy on points (16) as the pacesetters in the Fall Season. Rayo OKC (3-4-1, 11), in Gerard Nus’ coaching debut ended the New York Cosmos’ 10-game winning streak with a 1-1 draw. Georgios Samaras scored his second goal of the year, both coming against the Cosmos. The Carolina RailHawks (2-2-3, 8) also earned a point on the road with Omar Bravo scoring his second goal of the year in a 2-2 draw with Jacksonville Armada FC (1-2-5, 5).

Perhaps the most surprising result of the weekend was Miami FC (3-2-1, 11) quieting the Minnesota crowd in rapid-fire fashion. Miami scored three times in the opening half hour to send the Loons (3-2-2, 11) to their second home loss in 2016. Jonny Steele opened the scoring in the ninth minute and it was followed up by goals from Ariel Martinez and Kwadwo Poku to take a 3-0 lead into halftime. Aaron Dennis, who scored his first professional goal, completed the dominance at NSC Stadium to earn a 4-0 win for the visitors.

Cole Powers Rowdies Past Rival: English star Joe Cole has been a force in the Tampa Bay Rowdies’ midfield since his arrival and that continued against the club’s longstanding rival. Cole assisted Keith Savage’s opener, on the night Savage’s 100th appearance for the club was being celebrated, when he lofted a ball to the back post. Savage slammed the ball past Fort Lauderdale Strikers (1-1-5, 4) goalkeeper Bruno. Cole then scored a goal of his own, which stood up as the game-winner after the Strikers mounted a late comeback. Rowdies shot-stopper Matt Pickens made two key saves, one on Adrianinho’s penalty kick and then on Jose Angulo’s acrobatic effort with time running out.

Fondy Finds Target In Jacksonville As Foe: Forward Matt Fondy spent the 2016 Spring Season with the Armada FC, but he was unable to find the back of the net in eight appearances with the club. On his first trip back to Community First Park, Fondy needed just seven minutes to score his third goal for the RailHawks. Drew Beckie played a square pass, leaving Fondy 1-v-1 with Jacksonville ‘keeper Sean Lewis before coolly placing his shot into the net.

Trending: Paul Pogba to have Man United medical, Mancini leaves Inter

Paul Pogba is close to returning to Manchester United, with a medical reportedly taking place.

Here are the latest stories from Monday.

MAN UNITEDJuventus star Paul Pogba has been given permissionto have a medical with Manchester United, both clubs have confirmed. The midfielder has arrived to complete his £89 million move.

– United manager Jose Mourinho says his team still needs to adapt to get the best out of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He also said that it is “amazing” that Paul Pogba is set to return to United, but added that the midfielder needs to work hard to come into the team.

– Manchester United should be proud they are going to break the world transfer record fee by signing Pogba, Mourinho added.

– Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has reiterated his desire to break into management and have his “own team,” but will not entertain thoughts of replacing Chris Coleman as Wales national team boss for now.

INTER MILAN: Frank de Boer is set to be named the new coach of Inter Milan after Roberto Mancini’s departure was confirmed on Monday morning.

JUVENTUS: Former Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna has said he believes “not much will change” for the club without Pogba. Ogbonna, who now plays for West Ham, was a teammate of France international Pogba at Juventus for two seasons from summer 2013.

PSG: Paris Saint-Germain have completed their fifth summer signing with Real Madrid winger Jese Rodriguez the latest player to arrive at Parc des Princes. The 23-year-old has signed a five-year contract with the French champions and joins for a fee reported to be around €25 million.

ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger says Gabriel Paulista is likely to miss the Premier League opener against Liverpool with an ankle sprain, leaving him “very short” on centre-backs for the start of the season.

– Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has said he will “definitely” be back on top form this season as he said he would be willing to accept a place on the right wing.

– Kelechi Iheanacho’s former boss claims he stopped the Nigeria striker from joining Arsenal and told him to join Manchester City instead.

LEICESTER CITY: Claudio Ranieri has insisted that Leicester City’s primary target is to reach 40 points in the 2016-17 Premier League season after losing to Manchester United in the Community Shield on Sunday.

MAN CITY: Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta says new manager Pep Guardiola has assured him of his place in the squad for next season, ending speculation about a possible move away from the Etihad.

– Pep Guardiola has cast doubt over the futures of Wilfried Bony and Eliaquim Mangala after saying they remain Manchester City players “at the moment.”

LIVERPOOL: Georginio Wijnaldum says the Liverpool squad have learn to deal with the expectations placed upon them ahead of the start of the Premier League season.

– Jurgen Klopp has said he is unsure whether striker Daniel Sturridge will be available for Sunday’s Premier League opener at Arsenal.

WEST HAM: West Ham have completed the signing of Olympiakos left-back Arthur Masuaku. Masuaku, 22, has signed a four-year deal, the Hammers confirmed in a statement.

REAL MADRID: Real Madrid’s 20-man squad for the European Super Cup final against Sevilla includes Zinedine Zidane’s son Luca. The 18-year-old goalkeeper is named in place of the injured Keylor Navas, but Kiko Casilla is likely to start.

BAYERN MUNICH: Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said the club paid less than the reported €38 million fee for Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels.

– Kingsley Coman has expressed a desire to turn his loan at Bayern Munich into a full-time move. Coman, 20, signed for Bayern from Juventus on a two-year loan deal last summer, and the Bundesliga champions have the option to make the move permanent.

DORTMUNDBorussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reiterated his desire to stay at the club. Aubameyang told a news conference: “I will definitely stay with BVB, and I won’t answer this question again.”

NIGERIA: After failing to land Paul Le Guen, the Nigerian Football Federation have chosen Gernot Rohr to take charge as manager of the senior men’s national team.

MEXICO: Star striker Oribe Peralta and promising youngster Rodolfo Pizarro will return to Mexico after picking up injuries on Sunday in El Tri’s 5-1 victory over Fiji in the second round of games in Group C of the Olympic men’s football tournament.

MLS: Former Newcastle defender Steven Taylor had a tough start to life in the United States, enduring a challenging debut for Portland Timbers reserves.

Community Shield is no predictor of league success, Pogba’s cost, more

The Community Shield occupies a strange berth in English football. When it’s convenient, we pretend it’s a trophy and a competitive match. When it’s not, we call it a glorified friendly.I’m tempted to lean towards the latter. Competitive games don’t feature 12 substitutions (six per team). Nor do they involve one manager — Claudio Ranieri, in this case — leaving out all his summer signings because he wanted to reward the guys who won him the title last season.All of this led to a pretty disjointed (albeit entertaining at times) affair that likely tells you little about how these two clubs will play this season. But if we’re only marginally wiser about what Leicester City and Manchester United will look like as a unit, we do have clues about individuals.Start with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It will take a little time for him to find the measure of his United teammates and for Jose Mourinho to get the best out of him. But even the Ibrahimovic seen yesterday, often not getting great service and being stuck between two guys his own size, can be deadly even at half-throttle. His winner was vintage Zlatan, finding the half-space away from his marker and powering the ball into the far corner. And while he missed an earlier opportunity with a tame and likely mistimed finish, the fact that he was in the right place to shoot is significant. For the first time in a while, United have a center-forward whose natural habitat is the penalty area.Wayne Rooney ran plenty but produced less than expected: That’s a conundrum Mourinho will need to solve. The Michael Carrick-Marouane Fellaini partnership in front of the back four doesn’t seem sustainable (not least because you can’t expect Carrick to play every game) and is painfully slow. (If only United were on the verge of signing a dynamic superstar to help out in that role…) You’d expect that when we see the “real” United Mourinho has drawn up in his head, there will be room for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and, when he’s fit again, Chris Smalling.Luke Shaw’s return to full fitness reminds you just how much United missed him when he was injured. Eric Bailly is a work-in-progress, but hugely promising and ready to play. And Jesse Lingard is greater than the sum of his parts. Most of all, though, there is a lot of truth in Mourinho’s words when he said he’s only had a month to change from Van Gaal’s philosophy to his way of playing. It’s not that Van Gaal’s approach was wrong; it’s just that it was different. It’s not quite like getting an aircraft carrier to do a U-turn, but it’s not entirely far off.For Leicester, the way Lingard rumbled through the middle of the park in the build-up to his goal reminded you that N’Golo Kante is no longer there. And that in a real game, he’d be stopped by fair means or foul. Jamie Vardy looked to have picked up where he left off last year and of the newcomers who are likely to see much playing time for the Foxes, you’d imagine Ahmed Musa might settle quicker than Nampalys Mendy, who seems more of a playmaker type than a Kante-style Energizer Bunny.Ranieri said that Leicester are at 60 percent right now. United probably are too. It makes far more sense to check in on these sides in a few weeks, when they’ll be closer to the real deal.

How much will Paul Pogba actually cost?

You will see a whole range of different numbers relating to how much Paul Pogba will cost Manchester United once he signs. Some will be as low as £89 million (€105m/$116m). Others will be as high as £123m (€145m/$160.7m).What gives? Why can’t we have a hard and fast number?If you’re into this sort of thing, read on. If you’re not, skip to the next item.There is a hard and fast number and that number exists in the FIFA TMS system. That number is the number that exists on the contract to transfer Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United. It includes both the money that shifts from one club to the other and the commissions paid to agents (Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola is the most notable but he’s not the only one involved) as part of the deal.For a player to be transferred, both clubs have to upload their versions of the contracts plus the transfer fee, agent commissions and other fees into the FIFA TMS system. Those numbers have to match otherwise the deal does not go through.The problem is simple: Nobody, apart from a handful of people associated with Juve and United, Raiola and maybe a couple agents and the good folks at FIFA TMS, has actually seen the number. Throw in clubs’ penchant for making themselves look clever or thrifty by giving you only part of the picture and it becomes tough to truly compare apples with apples.he most widely quoted figure — and my own reporting makes me pretty confident it’s accurate, albeit incomplete — is that Juventus will receive £93.3m (€110m/$121.9m) from United. However, that figure is gross and part of that amount, £4.25m (€5m/$5.5m), will go to pay various associated fees and commissions, including part of those owed to Raiola. So Juventus would end up banking around $89m, which may explain the genesis of that number.(The good news here is that Juventus is a publicly traded company. At some point, they’ll publish their accounts and the financial eggheads will tell us whether they did in factreceive €110m from United, just as they were able to verify similar large transfer amounts in the past.)Of course, that number doesn’t include commission or fees that the club paid on its end. And if you’re a United fan or a Glazer you might want to know how much the deal actually cost you all-in since you’ve probably heard all the rumors about Raiola somehow demanding 20 percent of the transfer fee.Now, I personally doubt that even Raiola could get away with demanding such a massive cut. And, contrary to what you might have read, he never had a legally binding entitlement to 20 percent of the transfer fee. Not only have multiple sources denied its existence, but it would be illegal under FIFA’s statutes governing third-party investment. Of course, that doesn’t mean that Raiola didn’t ask for 20 percent of the deal, as he’s entitled to do. Or that once Raiola’s cut was agreed (however much it was), part of the reason this move took so long is that Juventus and United had to agree who would pay which parts of his commission.What we do know is that Raiola got some level of commission paid to him by both clubs and that the amount ought to be added to the cost of the deal.I know what you’re thinking: That number is in the transfer contract and has been uploaded to FIFA TMS, right?The answer is… maybe. Once the Pogba deal goes through, Raiola will have three important clients at United, the other two being Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Mkhitaryan. Juventus are currently linked with another Raiola client, Blaise Matuidi. If there’s more commission to be paid, there’s nothing stopping them from spreading it over other deals for other players.Bottom line? Jose Mourinho was probably telling the truth when he said he “didn’t know” how much this deal was costing Manchester United. Most people, even those involved in the deal, probably don’t know. Very few people do.What we can all be sure of, though, is that it’s a world record. And what I am pretty sure of is that it was a good piece of business for the club.

Inter continue to make bad choices

Details are hazy for now but it appears that Roberto Mancini’s time as Inter manager is at an end, with Frank De Boer set to take over. We’ll get into this more once we know more, but there are two obvious immediate reactions.The first is that changing managers in August is simply grotesque. Inter were obviously preoccupied with the ownership transition as the Chinese group Suning acquired just over two-thirds of the club, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t walk and chew gum at the same time. Besides, Suning came in on June 6. They had two whole months to figure out what to do with Mancini and, clearly, they misread the situation entirely. In fact, they reportedly went so far as to offer him a contract extension.The other is that everything filtering out from Inter suggests some folks still don’t get it. This is a club operating under the restrictions of a settlement for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play. They spent big last year mortgaging the future and this summer, Mancini’s targets included Yaya Toure and Thomas Vermaelen. Because those are exactly the sort of cheap, huge upside, long-term players you try to sign when you’re working on a shoestring.(Mancini’s other target was apparently Marco Reus – nothing wrong with him other than the fact that he’d cost an absolute fortune.)This club needs a serious wake-up call but right now, the fear is that we’ll get another wasted season instead.

Emery era at PSG begins in style

If Saturday night was a sign of things to come in the post-Zlatan era, things bode rather well for Paris St. Germain. Without Edison Cavani, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Blaise Matuidi, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva and with Marco Verratti still only half-fit, they demolished Lyon 4-1 on Saturday night in the French Super Cup.In many ways, it makes the transition more straightforward for new boss Unai Emery. Taking over with Ibrahimovic still around would likely have been trickier. Hitting the ground running in this way, without so many veteran stars, only makes things easier.

Don’t read into Guardiola’s tinkering

Last season, owing to injuries elsewhere, Pep Guardiola turned Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba into a viable center-back partnership for Bayern, even though one was a rookie midfielder and the other a left-back/occasional midfielder. That was in his third season with the Bavarians — when the rest of the side had metabolized his concepts — and even then it only lasted until Jerome Boateng’s return to full fitness.Guardiola may be daring and outside-the-box in his approach but we probably shouldn’t consider the Aleksandar Kolarov-Fernando center-back pairing, seen in Sunday’s friendly against Arsenal, as a sign of things to come. Manchester City obviously have specialist center backs due to return and, you’d expect, they’ll take another run at John Stones or a similar ball-playing central defender.Gabriele Marcotti is a columnist for ESPN FC, 

Ibrahimovic earns Community Shield glory for Man United vs. Leicester

LONDON — Three thoughts on Manchester United’s 2-1 win vs. Leicester City in the FA Community Shield.

  1. Ibrahimovic announces himself for Man United

He was never going to arrive quietly. Until the 83rd minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic had been virtually anonymous by his standards, shackled effectively by Leicester’s Wes Morgan and struggling to find space to exert his usual influence.But given his appetite for theatre, it was no huge surprise that the Swedish striker settled a tight, often scrappy Community Shield after Jesse Lingard and Jamie Vardy had traded goals. Manchester United will hope it provides some sort of springboard for brighter times over the next nine months.When the decisive moment arrived, it was straightforward enough. Antonio Valencia’s cross, stood up to the far post, brought about another of the contests Ibrahimovic had been losing for most of the afternoon. But this time, he won the header against Morgan and — with the Leicester captain possibly getting the final touch — nodded across Kasper Schmeichel and in off the far post.Lingard’s opener seemed a long time ago, but it was worth committing to memory. The 23-year-old has taken a liking to Wembley. It was his excellent FA Cup final winner against Crystal Palace that brought United to this game and within 32 minutes he had produced another moment of magic, albeit different in nature.United certainly needed something; they had laboured for the most part but, after Andy King had dived into and missed a tackle 10 yards inside the Leicester half, Lingard found himself in space. Past one challenge he went, then past another from a rash Morgan, and the winger found himself one-on-one with Schmeichel. He finished coolly and sparked a game that had badly needed such a show of initiative.It should have been the foundation for United to kick on and set down a marker. Instead, Marouane Fellaini provided an apt reminder of existing failings seven minutes after the break.The midfielder did well enough to track back and intercept a ball toward Vardy from substitute Ahmed Musa, but Fellaini’s subsequent contribution was to sell David De Gea short with a hopelessly underhit backpass, allowing Vardy to steal in and slot in the equaliser from an angle.It was Ibrahimovic who had the final say, though, as United stepped up the pressure late on. They have won the first silverware of the 2016-17 season, although this was not a curtain raiser to live particularly long in the memory.

  1. United show why Pogba is needed

Watching this game, you could only think that Paul Pogba cannot arrive quickly enough. The midfielder only has to pass a medical for his drawn-out transfer to Man United finally to be confirmed and such was the lack of cohesion in his new club’s engine room that there is any number of jobs he could perform.United lined up at Wembley with Wayne Rooney in the No. 10 position Mourinho appears to have earmarked for him, plus Michael Carrick and Fellaini sitting behind in a 4-2-3-1 formation.The balance never looked right; Rooney, starved of meaningful possession early on despite a dominant start from United, found himself pulled backwards as the first half progressed, with King and Danny Drinkwater dominating in the centre for Leicester.There were no indications of a burgeoning relationship with Ibrahimovic, who was peripheral until his winner, and the only sign of any forward thrust from the middle came when Lingard, a wide player, foraged inside to such tremendous effect for his goal.It was sluggish, one-paced fare and a reminder of Mourinho’s pre-match concern that it will take time to evolve United’s game from the safe, possession-based approach of Louis van Gaal to one that seeks quick penetration between the lines.Henrikh Mkhitaryan, seen only in added time here, should also change that if used centrally and, as United probed with little direct threat, the abiding sense was that the midfielders Mourinho inherited have neither the speed of foot or thought to harbour hopes of a long-term future at Old Trafford.Rooney must be included in their number. He plugged away, slashing wildly over after Vardy’s equaliser and shooting at Schmeichel following a rare link-up with Ibrahimovic, but it is difficult to see where he is going to fit in unless Pogba’s power can somehow be used to spark him.Juan Mata might feel similarly. The Spaniard, introduced in the 63rd minute, was the man withdrawn for Mkhitaryan and must wonder about his own future. It was another reminder that, even if Pogba is almost back on English shores, there remain many issues to deal with at Old Trafford.

  1. Leicester lose but can be pleased

Leicester can approach the new campaign with a sense of reassurance, regardless of their late disappointment here. There had been mild cause for preseason concern when they shipped eight goals against Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, but the opposition had to be taken into account and they bore a decent resemblance to last season’s selves at Wembley.Lingard’s goal was cruelly timed; Claudio Ranieri’s side had wrestled control of the game after a cagey first 15 minutes and had almost taken the lead when Shinji Okazaki, having seen a shot deflected just wide, hit the crossbar with a header from the resulting corner.The one nagging doubt came in the build-up to United’s opener. The missed tackle from King that opened the door for Lingard summed up Leicester’s typically committed approach but it was impossible to swat away the thought that N’Golo Kante, whose place King he had taken, would have won the ball.Somehow, Kante’s contribution needs to be mitigated. Ranieri said before the game that they will “have to think different and close space quicker — but it will need to happen in more disciplined fashion than this if Leicester are not to appear loose. An encouraging performance from substitute Nampalys Mendy assuaged a few of those concerns.The speed of substitutes Musa and Demarai Gray, who almost equalised at the death, troubled United in the second half and Leicester will certainly have more strings to their attacking bow than last season. That extra depth will be crucial, as will quick elimination of the soft defending that led to both goals here.Any recriminations, though, will be few. “Champions of England, we know what we are,” was the Leicester fans’ refrain throughout the afternoon. They will be for a good few months yet, and there remains no good reason not to bask in the fact.Nick Ames is a football j

Premier League previews for 2016-17

The 2016-17 Premier League season is nearly upon us. Lots has happened already this summer, so our ESPN FC bloggers take a look at how their team will fare in the coming campaign.


BOURNEMOUTH: Bournemouth’s first ever appearance in the Premier League ended well, with the club finishing a respectable 16th in the table in 2015-16. The key now is to build on that. Read >> — Will Kent

BURNLEY: Burnley are back. Sean Dyche masterminded a quick return to the Premier League following relegation in 2014-15 but the Championship winners do not look equipped for Premier League survival without major investment. Read >> — Jamie Smith

CRYSTAL PALACE: Crystal Palace were challenging the top four in December last year but fell away in 2016 to eventually finish a disappointing 15th. A top half finish and another cup run would do the trick. Maybe even win it this time. Read >> — Jim Daly

HULL CITY: Hull City bounced back to the Premier League following victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship playoff final. But can they stay there? Read >> — Philip Buckingham

MIDDLESBROUGH: Aitor Karanka has masterminded Boro’s return to the big time after seven seasons in the Football League, but now he must keep them there. All eyes will be on a rejuvenated team who make their return to the Premier League looking much more primed for action than their promoted counterparts. Read >> — Catherine Wilson

SUNDERLAND: Sunderland staged another escape act last season, as they once again managed to survive in the Premier League. The challenge now is for new boss David Moyes to develop the club so late-season scrapes are a thing of the past. Read >> — Colin Randall


EVERTON: Coming Aug. 9. — Luke O’Farrell

SWANSEA: Coming Aug. 9. — Max Hicks

WATFORD: Coming Aug. 9. — Michael Moruzzi

WEST BROM: Coming Aug. 9. — Matthew Evans


STOKE: Coming Aug. 10. — James Whittaker

SOUTHAMPTON: Coming Aug. 10. — Alex Crook.

WEST HAM: Coming Aug. 10. — Peter Thorne


CHELSEA: Coming Aug. 11. — Mark Worrall

LIVERPOOL: Coming Aug. 11. — Steven Kelly

TOTTENHAM: Coming Aug. 11. — Ben Pearce


ARSENAL: Coming Aug. 12. — Tom Adams

LEICESTER: Coming Aug. 12 — Ben Jacobs

MAN CITY: Coming Aug. 12. — Simon Curtis

MAN UNITED: Coming Aug. 12. — Scott Patterson

LA Galaxy mount late comeback vs. NY Red Bulls while Giovinco nets hat trick

Week 22 of the Major League Soccer season saw a referee take the spotlight while Steven Gerrard’s LA Galaxy mounted a late comeback to draw 2-2 against the New York Red Bulls.As for in-form players in the MLS, Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco and Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey are right up there with the best.

The Toledo Show

At the final whistle in Portland, the scoreline read 3-0, giving the impression that the Timbers had dominated against visiting Sporting Kansas City. And yes, Caleb Porter’s team did grab the game by throat in the last half hour, putting away three excellent chances while smothering Sporting’s attack.But the star of the show wasn’t any of the goal scorers — Diego Valeri, Jack Jewsbury or Fanendo Adi. The man at the center of the events at Providence Park was referee Baldomero Toledo. Toledo heavily altered the proceedings by handing out two red cards in the first half that put each team down to 10 men for the majority of the match.It looked dire for the home team when Toledo dismissed midfield stalwart Diego Chara for putting his hands in the face of Benny Feilhaber behind the ball. Feilhaber sold the foul with additional theatrics, but Chara should know better than to give the ref an excuse to pull out a red card.With a pair of understudies at center-back, Portland dug in and kept the game scoreless long enough for Toledo to bring balance back into the game when he sent off Sporting midfielder Soni Mustivar in the 39th minute. Was Mustivar’s foul worthy of an ejection? The call was questionable at best, and leaves open the possibility that Toledo was looking for a way to level the numbers.Take nothing away from the Timbers on a day when a home win was important to staying in the conversation for the playoffs in the Western Conference. Valeri’s goal was stellar, and Darlington Nagbe’s assist for the second was a work of art. But as is too often the case in Major League Soccer, the referee took center stage and directly impacted the outcome of a game with doubt about the decisions made.

Seattle Surge

Whether fair or not, the revival of the Seattle Sounders looks to have come as a result of the firing of Sigi Schmid. Since the long-time manager’s dismissal after nearly eight years at the helm, the Sounders have taken a marked step forward in the level of their play. Last week against LA Galaxy, the team played well under interim boss Brian Schmetzer, but couldn’t finish enough of their excellent chances to secure three points.On Sunday evening, Seattle had no such trouble against Orlando City on the road in Florida. Jordan Morris starred as the provider, setting up two of Clint Dempsey’s hat trick of goals with perfectly timed runs and smart passes. Nicolas Lodeiro was good again in his second appearance with his new team. The defense held firm against the Lions after giving up an early goal.In general terms, so much about the Sounders was better than it had been for months that it’s difficult to pin down the cause. Maybe Schmid’s influence on the team had turned negative, or perhaps Sounders’ players were simply invigorated by the fresh start that his departure represented.Before the switch and the four points they earned over the last two weeks, Seattle was verging on becoming an afterthought in the Western Conference. The club’s long streak of playoff appearances — the Sounders have made the postseason every year of their MLS existence — remains in jeopardy, but it is still a bit premature to suggest that there’s no chance they can rise up the table and get themselves into one of the final spots.Lodeiro’s influence is key. The Argentine brings a creative edge Seattle lacked before, and he is already developing excellent chemistry with Morris.

Hairston Rising

This is MLS. With the restrictions on spending and level of difficulty for clubs to add players that can make a difference midseason, getting a boost from players who emerge from the reserves to make big contributions is a crucial in turning a good start into a good season.The Colorado Rapids have used a strong defensive posture and the influence of a few big time players to carve out a strong position near the top of the Western Conference standings. Keeping that momentum going was never a given, and with the club’s significant investment in Jermaine Jones and Tim Howard, finding a way to inject new energy into the team wasn’t going to be easy. At the close of the transfer window, the Rapids found a way to grab an experienced attacker in Sebastian LeToux via trade, and thanks to the emergence of 22-year old Marlon Hairston, there might be enough in the tank to carry them through the schedule.Hairston put in another excellent performance on Saturday in the Rapids’ 2-0 home win over Vancouver. The winger scored and collected an assist, adding a goal to a run that has seen him scored in three of Colorado’s last four games. Hairston is establishing himself as a first choice player in a team that hasn’t always presented much danger on the attacking end. The University of Louisville product’s speed and incisive runs are making a difference for Pablo Mastroeni’s team.

Lil Sebastian Rides Again

probably won’t replicate his astonishing 2015 output this season. Even so, he remains on the verge of another historic campaign in the league.On Sunday, Giovinco scored three times as Toronto FC romped past the Revolution at BMO Field. Giovinco was at his shooting best, scoring twice with incredible strikes and hitting the bar on two other occasions. Toronto is a better team than they were last year, and Giovinco is suddenly white hot. Pushing into the playoffs and getting beyond the opening round suddenly seems like a much better possibility.

Chaos in Carson

There’s no way to sum up the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the Red Bulls at the Stub Hub Center on Sunday night that will do the game justice.New York was forced to use all three of their substitution in the first 50 minutes thanks to injuries that could have big ramifications on their immediate future. Despite those setbacks, they got goals from Gonzalo Veron and Sean Davis to take a two-goal lead. The Galaxy sleep-walked through the first 80 minutes, only to turn it on with just enough time to make a comeback. In the process, goalkeeper Brian Rowe got away with what looked to be two stone-cold penalty fouls. Arguing the calls got Jesse Marsch sent off, and in the end, no one can be overly excited about the result.In other words, it was a perfect end to an insane MLS weekend..Jason Davis covers Major League Soccer

Earn Your Accredited College Degree at ½ the Cost and Time of Traditional Schools

Check out The Ole Ballcoach online www.theoleballcoach.com –  Proud Member of the Brick Yard Battalion – http://www.brickyardbattalion.com , Sam’s Army- http://www.sams-army.com  , American Outlaws  http://www.facebook.com/IndyAOUnite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.